Friday, April 20, 2012

Extremism in Wildrose

Well, what our newest member lacks in total post, he certainly makes up in impact.

Naberius200's article on Link Byfield's association with white supremacist Paul Fromm has resulted in more than 3000 hits since it was published, becoming the third most viewed article on this blog in only a little over 2 weeks. No doubt that is in large part due to the interest in the upcoming provincial election which, for the first time in more than 40 years, is actually a contest. The most recent poll numbers we've read place Wild Rose 7 points higher than the Progressive Conservatives, a dynasty that has ruled the province since 1971. While it appears that Wildrose is poised to form the next government, a significant percentage of the provinces electors are still uncertain.

Recent statements by some Wildrose candidates might give some Albertans cause for some concern.

* Our friend Harry doesn't believe that Link Byfield himself harbours racist views himself (though even if that is true, we think that any association with Paul Fromm should result in electors questioning one's judgment) but an examination of other candidates indicate a worrisome lack of tolerance:

* UPDATE: Not wishing to misquote Harry, we include the full text of his post here now:

I know someone very well who used to work for Mr. Byfield at his magazine, and according to them, racism was not tolerated in that workplace, despite whatever views were held or expressed.

Fromm gets around quite a bit, and has made a career out of misrepresenting himself to others and hitching his wagon to "freedom and right wing patriotic causes" so I would hesitate at tarring Mr. Byfield just because he was seen sharing a podium with Fromm. 

Ron Leech: “I think as a Caucasian I have an advantage... When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speaks, they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a Caucasian, I believe that I can speak to all the community.”

Allan Hunsperger: “You can live the way you were born, and if you die the way you were born, then you will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering.”

Hunsperger also thinks public eduction is godless because of efforts to protect gay youth from being bullied. Nice guy.

And these are just a few of the candidates we could look at.

One might think that the leader might want to step in and say these views are not representative of the Party.

Unless you're Danielle Smith, in which case these comments are absolutely fine. Given their human rights platform, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised?


Harry Abrams said...

I don't really appreciate being misquoted.

Nosferatu wrote:

"...Our friend Harry doesn't believe that Link Byfield himself harbours racist views himself..."

That's a whole lot different than what I posted in comment to an article that discussed Mr. Link Byfield attempting to suggest that just because he was seen or known to share a podium with Fromm, doesn't necessarily mean that Byfield shared or shares Fromm's values and attitudes.

I personally don't know whether Mr. Byfield does or doesn't. But a friend of mine who I consider sensitive to racism conveyed to me their experience that Byfield wasn't.

I mind remind one and all again, that Paul Fromm commonly makes a practice of misrepresenting himself, sometimes as an innocuous "free speech" advocate, or "immigration pundit," and by so doing, gains audiences an even media coverage in what I would call a less than honest way. So one should not be too quick to judge others just because they happen to be standing next to Fromm on a podium or at any given event.

Without canvasing Mr. Byfield personally, or lacking any other substantive evidence it's simply not fair to tar the man as a presumed racist, or to misquote me one way or the other on the subject. Thank you.

Kurt Phillips said...

Wasn't intending to misquote you Harry. I guess I just did a poor job of paraphrasing your position. I'll make the necessary addition.

Harry Abrams said...

It's all good now.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that this has, along with other Wild Rose controversies, been all over twitter and we haven't seen any kind of statement or explanation from Byfield.

If he got suckered by Fromm, and actually doesn't sympathize with Fromm's racism, which I agree sounds entirely plausible, I wish he would just say so.

I think it would be a good thing if Canadians on the right end of the political spectrum who disagree with the views of folks like Paul Fromm would say so a little more often.